There has been a well-known stigma towards homosexuality in hip-hop which has led to some artists’ careers being tarnished by rumors that they had associations with people of the same sex.
But, in the past few years, LGBTQ+ artists have been transforming hip-hop through their music and activism.
With the emergence of a new generation of hip-hop consumers and artists who have accepted their sexuality, the culture is demonstrating greater tolerance than ever before.
To celebrate the contributions these artists have made to the hip-hop scene, here are the top 30 gay rappers.
1. Lil Nas X
While his hit song “Old Town Road” was at the top of the Billboard Top 100 Chart for a record-breaking 19 weeks, Lil Nas X made the brave decision to come out as a gay rapper.
Since then, he has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, offering a nuanced perspective on coming out in the public eye.
Despite his comfort with his sexuality, Lil Nas X acknowledges that it may not be as easy for others in less privileged positions, stating, “Being in this position, it’s easy for me.
But some little boy 10 miles from here, it’s not going to be good for him.”
Lil Nas X has become a symbol of the more inclusive, progressive market for rappers and consumers.
2. Mista Strange
Mista Strange, a drill rapper from Britain, has shared his experience of being a publicly gay rapper and how it often leads to underestimation.
In one of his tracks, he touches upon this subject with the lyrics, “Won’t let me through ‘cause I’m back like Santan, Won’t let me through ‘cause I’m gay like Schofield.”
Despite facing such negative feedback, he draws inspiration from it for his lyrics and has no plans of giving up.
He even revealed that he had received messages from people who came out after watching his music video.
See also: Best British Rappers
3. Angel Haze
During her appearance on Fusion TV, Angel Haze opened up about her sexual identity.
When asked if she identified with pansexuals or people who love across a spectrum, Haze responded by stating that if she had to identify, that would be the term she’d use to describe her feelings.
However, she also expressed her dislike for labels on sexuality and mentioned that she uses them more for other people’s understanding.
Haze clarified that her sexual identity has little to do with actual sex and mentioned that she’s still a virgin.
For Haze, it’s more about connecting with people on a deeper level and having relationships rooted in something meaningful.
She believes in seeing people for who they are beyond just their sexuality.
4. Snow Tha Product
As a gay Latin female recording artist, Snow Tha Product acknowledges that her journey hasn’t been smooth, but she emphasizes that honesty is crucial.
In a recent interview with Billboard, she talked about how coming out has impacted her music, enabling her to speak more openly about certain topics, even though she still uses double meanings in her lyrics.
The artist believes her audience can understand her better by incorporating her experiences with girls in her music.
In addition, Snow Tha Product discussed her role in the popular show Queen of the South and shared insights on how she landed the part.
You might be familiar with ILoveMakonnen’s famous 2014 hit song “Tuesday,” which became a viral sensation due to its catchy and memorable lyrics about partying on a Tuesday.
However, did you know that he also openly declared his homosexuality on Twitter?
In a post, he stated, “As a fashion icon, I can only speak about my closet.
It’s time I came out of the closet.
And since I came out, maybe you can live your life.”
This tweet, which was both candid and witty, required a lot of courage to deliver, particularly in 2017 when being a gay rapper was still a controversial topic in the music industry.
6. Frank Ocean
In 2012, the hip-hop artist and rapper Frank Ocean declared his bisexuality in a gorgeously written post on Tumblr.
His post concluded with an uplifting statement that he “feels like a free man,” which is both poetic and powerful.
This line acknowledges the potential risks of revealing such sensitive information to the world.
However, it’s apparent that he was and still is proud and empowered by his decision.
7. Mykki Blanco
Mykki Blanco is an innovative rap and hip-hop artist admired for her bravery, originality, and empathy toward marginalized people.
Her music is so unique and impressive that she is considered a significant figure in the LGBTQ+ community.
Mykki is also the sole living rapper who has openly acknowledged being HIV positive.
Even though the HIV/AIDs epidemic remains a contentious issue among the LGBTQ+ community, Mykki chose to be truthful and sincere instead of hiding her condition.
She believes it’s time to live up to her punk ideals by being honest about her HIV-positive status, which she has had since 2011 throughout her entire career.
8. Cakes da Killa
In 2016, a 28-year-old hip-hop musician from Brooklyn, Cakes da Killa, gained prominence with his debut album Hedonism.
He distinguishes himself in his music by being candid about his sexuality and sex life, which is not uncommon for heterosexual hip-hop artists but is not typical for gay artists.
He informed iNews in Britain that homophobia is not solely present in hip-hop music.
Cakes da Killa believes that every genre of music has homophobic individuals.
Still, hip-hop has been perceived as such for a long time because some of the significant players have been vocal about their prejudices.
However, times have changed, and these artists would face backlash if they expressed homophobic sentiments today, unlike in 1996.
9. Quay Dash
Quay Dash is unapologetically open about her gender, as she stated in her interview with DAZED, “I’m a black, transgender woman who happens to be a talented rapper and attractive.
When you possess beauty, intelligence, and skill, nobody can take that away from you.”
Her direct approach and distinctive life experiences have garnered attention, and she is not hesitant to showcase her talent.
“I’m confident that I’m superior to most of those rappers,” she told The Guardian.
“Regarding my music, my primary objective is for people to hear my voice and understand that I’m here to make an impact.
I’m here to stay, and I’m here to slay.”
10. Zebra Katz
Zebra Katz has been a prominent queer artist, heavily influenced by queer ball culture.
He became a notable figure in the music industry after designer Rick Owens used his song “Ima Read” during his show at Paris Fashion Week in 2012.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2013, Katz acknowledged the significance of being openly queer in hip-hop but also recognized the challenges.
“It was necessary to create a powerful, black, and queer male character because that’s not a common sight, particularly in hip-hop.
However, standing up as a queer man is frightening, as people are being targeted all around the world.”
Katz also emphasized the importance of employing your sexuality as a weapon rather than allowing them to use it against you during the interview.
11. Big Freedia
Big Freedia, a New Orleans bounce music superstar, has always been open and proud about their gender and sexuality.
In an interview with Huffington Post, when asked whether they were concerned about how their gender and sexuality might affect their career, Big Freedia responded, “I don’t really worry about that.”
12. Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae, a singer, and LGBTQ+ advocate came out as pansexual in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone.
She considers herself a “free-ass motherf**ker,” having been in relationships with both men and women.
While she previously identified as bisexual, she realized that she identified with pansexuality after learning more about it.
Janelle hopes that younger people struggling with their sexuality will feel seen and heard, and she acknowledges that she was initially afraid to come out.
She believes it is crucial to normalize black women who do not identify as strictly heterosexual and include more LGBTQIA+ individuals in conversations on the front end to avoid seeing things in a binary way.
Le1f, who gained recognition for producing tracks for Das Racist, has significantly impacted the rap scene.
Before entering the world of rap, Le1f studied ballet and modern dance.
Furthermore, he is the founder of Camp & Street, a hip-hop label that operates under Greedhead Music.
When he revealed his sexuality in 2012, the hip-hop artist received the typical negative responses common among gay rappers.
Nonetheless, it did not affect his career, as he has the self-assurance and fearlessness to persevere despite detractors.
Le1f even admitted that he enjoys the attention he’s receiving, stating, “To be honest, I’m kind of digging the spotlight being on me.”
14. KC Ortiz
KC Ortiz’s mixtape “Church Tapes” pays homage to a bygone era, reminiscing about the days when she used to sit on her grandmother’s back porch and listen to recorded church sermons.
On tracks such as “Know It,” Ortiz asserts herself as queen and takes on her detractors with bold lyrics while wearing an “iced-out tiara.”
She is a Chicago-based rapper making her mark on the music scene.
15. Brooke Candy
Brooke Candy, the Los Angeles rapper, has an impressive resume with collaborations with Charli XCX on “Cloud Aura” and “Shake It.”
Despite working as a stripper in the past, Candy’s family supposedly held close-minded views on sexuality, which made it all the more surprising.
She came out as pansexual and was met with an unsupportive reaction from her parents.
Her father ignored it, and her mother kicked her out of their home.
As a result, Candy had to live in her car for an extended period, and her relationship with her parents never improved.
Today, Candy hopes that her music can speak to those who feel alone or disenfranchised, and she aspires to create music that will resonate with the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.
16. Jay Boogie
Jay Boogie, a Dominican American artist, is all about body positivity.
In his debut album, Allure, he celebrates his body in the stylishly seductive track “Body” while showcasing his striking eye makeup.
With collaborations with fellow artists like Cakes Da Killa and Shamz Le Roc, Jay produces one hit after another, all while spreading the message that he’s comfortable in his skin and sexuality and encouraging others to do the same.
17. Kevin Abstract
After gaining recognition as a member of the hip-hop collective Brockhampton, Kevin Abstract has made a name for himself in the music industry.
The group has achieved immense success by collaborating with popular artists like Dua Lipa, ASAP Rocky, and Shawn Mendes.
Apart from his work with Brockhampton, Kevin has also established himself as a successful solo artist, with his album American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story being particularly noteworthy
Much like Lil Nas X, Kevin’s music is characterized by his openness about his sexuality.
Syd, also known as Syd Tha Kyd, made her mark in the music scene as a member of the hip-hop group Odd Future, featuring Frank Ocean.
She went on to achieve greater success through her involvement with The Internet and her solo work.
Apart from her rap skills, Syd is a proficient singer and producer who dabbles in a range of genres such as neo-soul, R&B, and hip-hop.
19. Young M.A
Emerging in the mid-2010s, Young M.A has established herself as a prominent figure in the rap industry.
Her hit single “Ooouuu” and its accompanying music video, which has amassed over 350 million views on YouTube, catapulted her into the spotlight.
Young M.A.’s promising career trajectory was acknowledged when she was named in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2018.
20. Azealia Banks
Azealia Banks, a well-known gay female rapper from Harlem, identifies as bisexual.
In 2011, her debut hip-hop single “212” went viral and was named one of the defining songs of the decade by Billboard.
She subsequently released her first album, Broke with Expensive Taste, in 2014, which received rave reviews from various publications, including Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.
Although she was clear about not wanting to be labeled as a bisexual or lesbian rapper, she did not hesitate to express her sexual orientation in her art.
21. Taylor Bennett
Taylor Bennett, the younger brother of Chance the Rapper, has made a name for himself in the hip-hop scene with his albums Broad Shoulders and Restoration of an American Idol and collaborations with EDM rockers Krewella and Young Thug.
In 2017, Bennett publicly came out as bisexual, surprising some of his followers who believed his account had been hacked.
Despite briefly considering walking back on his comment, Bennett was overwhelmed with support from fans and decided to continue to be true to himself.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bennett explained that he came out before his 21st birthday to fully embrace his identity and stop living for others.
22. Da Brat
Da Brat is widely recognized as one of the most influential female rappers.
Her first album, Funkdafied, featured the titular hit single, which became platinum, making her the first solo female rapper to achieve such a feat, according to XXL.
As a woman in hip-hop, Da Brat faced sexism throughout her life, but she decided to speak out and tell her truth after 25 years.
In 2020, the rap icon opened up about coming out in an interview with Variety.
Da Brat cited the pervasive homophobia of the ’90s for her decision not to come out earlier and said that people like Ellen faced significant backlash for being openly gay.
However, after falling in love with entrepreneur and haircare mogul Jesseca Dupart, Da Brat decided to come out and embrace her truth.
23. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah is a pioneering hip-hop star and actress whose sexuality has been a topic of speculation for years.
Despite the constant media intrusion into her personal life, Latifah refused to discuss her sexuality for a long time, believing that keeping her private life private was important.
She was also concerned that coming out would make her a “reluctant heroine” for the LGBT+ community and didn’t want to be forced into anything.
Y-Love, also known as Yitz Jordan, is a rapper famed for infusing his past Orthodox Judaism into his music, often rapping about rabbinical teachings in Yiddish, per the Montreal Mirror.
But Y-Love soon found discordance between his Hasidic faith and his sexuality after revealing he was gay in 2012.
In an interview with Out, Y-Love discussed the importance of going public with his sexuality.
“I’ve never been conflicted about my sexuality,” he said.
“Any conflicts that have come up in my life have come up because of other people’s homophobia.”
He highlighted the significance of living his truth, revealing he spent years worrying about the potential effects coming out might have on his public reputation.
However, he ultimately accepted that his happiness and the value of the representation as a Black gay rapper eclipsed a need for acceptance within the hip-hop community.
25. Amplify Dot
In a 2020 article for Vogue, Dot described herself as a stud lesbian and emphasized the importance of Queer role models outside of those who subscribe to white-centric notions of selfdom.
“Navigating life in the heteronormative Western world can be tricky for a gay gal like me,” she wrote.
“Especially when our most visible spokesperson is a white gazillionaire named Ellen.”
She also discussed the prevalence of violence against butch-presenting gay women, highlighting the murder of several lesbians in a region of Chile that has become notorious for its homophobic hate crimes.
“Being ‘butch’ means wearing your sexuality on your sleeve, which, in an age still inexplicably marred by homophobia, can have grave consequences all over the world,” she stated.
In April 2021, Kehlani publicly came out as gay through a TikTok video, in which she joyfully exclaimed, “I am gay, gay, gay. I finally know I’m a lesbian.”
Kehlani, who identifies as a non-binary person and uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has discussed her sexuality openly in the past.
In a 2020 interview with Diva Magazine, Kehlani elaborated on her gender identity, explaining that she identifies as queer because her energy has always been fluid between masculine and feminine.
However, she still prefers the pronoun “she” and considers herself to be on the non-binary spectrum.
Grammy-winning producer and DJ Kaytranada publicly came out as gay in 2016 after releasing his highly acclaimed debut album 99.9%.
During an interview with Fader, he talked about the moment he opened up to his family.
At first, he told his mother and brother that he was bisexual, but later on, he admitted that he was gay.
He doesn’t label himself as straight or gay, stating that “it’s just me,” but acknowledges that he is gay.
28. Lil Peep
In 2017, Lil Peep was making waves in the emo rap scene when he boldly came out to the world on Twitter, declaring, “Yes, I’m bisexual!”
But that wasn’t all.
In true Lil Peep fashion, he added a playful twist with his tweet, “Who wants a kiss?” And let’s just say it got people talking.
Despite facing his fair share of homophobia, Lil Peep was a fearless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community on social media.
He didn’t shy away from confronting hate and bigotry head-on.
The rapper also collaborated with openly gay hip-hop artist iLoveMakonnen, proving that diversity and acceptance were at the forefront of his creative vision.
Tragically, Lil Peep’s life was cut short in November of 2017, but his legacy as an artist and LGBTQ+ ally lives on.
29. Kidd Kenn
Kidd Kenn is a talented rapper from Chicago who’s making headlines for breaking barriers and making history.
This 18-year-old rising star made waves as the first openly gay rapper to take part in the BET Hip-hop Awards Cypher.
Kidd Kenn has been proudly out since he started making music in 2018, and he’s been turning heads ever since.
With hit singles like “Move” featuring Rico Nasty and “Eriod” featuring Queen Key, this Nicki Minaj disciple is making a name for himself in the industry.
He’s a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and determined to use his platform to create space for others like him in the music industry.
Chika has been making waves in the music industry with her honest and unapologetic approach to her sexuality.
As a proud bisexual artist, Chika has used her music to explore the complexities of her identity.
Songs like “Can’t Explain It” and “FWB” showcase her talent for weaving personal experiences into powerful lyrics.
She’s been using her platform to start important conversations about LGBTQ+ representation and visibility in the music industry.
On social media, she’s been candid about her views on the sexualization of women, stating that “Women are more than fine objects placed on earth to turn you on.
You can appreciate a woman without sexualizing her.”
Best Gay Rappers – Final Thoughts
Although there’s a long way to go before the discrimination against LGBTQ+ artists becomes a thing of the past, the rise of gay artists is a sign that the hip-hop industry has started to break away from these notions.
As more fans start to embrace gender diversity and representation, LGBQT+ artists have released music that has gone mainstream.
The artists discussed in this post are some of the most notable examples of LGBTQ+ representation in the rap scene.
As more people push towards inclusivity in the world of rap, we can look forward to more LGBTQ+ rappers coming out in the future.
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